Condoms for a cause

Hump smarter, save the snail darter. Wrap with care, save the polar bear. Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle.

These are some of the slogans on the 100,000 free  Endangered Species Condoms packages that will be distributed beginning on Valentine’s Day by the Center for Biological Diversity.  The Center has 3,000 volunteers across the entire nation participating in this campaign.  The center has also built a website –www.EndangeredSpeciesCondoms.com – chronicling the devastating impact of human overpopulation on endangered species. Additional free condoms will be distributed through the site, and five people will win a lifetime condom supply.

Six different packages with original artwork and edgy slogans feature the polar bear (“Wrap with care, save the polar bear”), jaguar (“Wear a jimmy hat, save the big cat”), American burying beetle (“Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle”), snail darter (“Hump smarter, save the snail darter”), coquí guajón rock frog (“Use a stopper, save the hopper”), and spotted owl (“Wear a condom now, save the spotted owl”). All six species are listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Human overpopulation is destroying wildlife habitat at an unprecedented rate,” said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate leading the Center’s overpopulation campaign.

The Center for Biological Diversity will not distribute the condoms as an organization. Instead they sent out the condoms for volunteers to distribute.

Christine Filer, a communication senior, at University of Arizona, decided to distribute condoms on campus after receiving an e-mail from the center’s listserv.

“I really support what this organization is doing, so if I can help without even leaving campus, it’s great,” Filer said. “It’s really neat that I can do this on my own time.”

The Center for Biological Diversity mailed the condoms straight to Filer’s residence.  (Aside: Did you know you can order condoms to be mailed directly to you in Washington, DC? Go to www.doh.dc.gov/condoms to place an order for 10 free, high-quality condoms!)

“Passing out condoms and information on this issue is great, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up,” Filer said. “I think it’s a really ingenious idea because it’s not something I’d think to do but it will spread awareness in an unexpected, different way.”  Though the Center did not give out specific instructions on how to distribute the contraceptives, Filer doesn’t expect she’ll have too much trouble getting them out the door.

The condoms will be handed out at concerts, bars, universities, spiritual groups, local events, and farmer’s markets. Along with two condoms, each package contains original artwork and information on the species, facts about overpopulation and the extinction crisis, and suggestions on how the human population can be stabilized.

“Through the empowerment of women, universal, free access to birth control for everyone who wants it, and education of all people, we can stabilize global population at a sustainable level,” said Serraglio.

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